Earth-Built homes are among some of the oldest structures, in fact they date back thousands of years. It was common for people to build their homes into the surrounding land, using soil to insulate the walls and roofs. Lloyd Wright said it perfectly “No house should ever be on a hill or on anything,” “It should be on the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together, each happier for the other.”

Homes that slip seamlessly into the background of their environment perfectly showcase that it is possible to create more eco-friendly dwelling, while still catering to the comforts of modern society. The US Department of Energy even considers these homes to be energy-efficient, because the land surrounding the structure acts as a thermal barrier. So the real question is… could you be comfortable living in a home that is quite literally a part of the earth? Let’s take a look at 7 homes around the world that were built into the earth.

Underhill (Holme, West Yorkshire)

This home was affectionately named Underhill, which honestly couldn’t be more perfect. Its architecture was designed by Arthur Quarmby, and it was the first home built into the earth in Britain during modern times.

Source: Property Photography/WM Sykes

It was eventually placed on the National Heritage List in England in 2017, and there it remains until this day.

Peter Vetsch Homes (Switzerland)

Peter Vetsch has earned his merit as one of the most dedicated earth architects of his time. His belief is “environmentally conscious, ecological, and progressive architecture,” and he has built over 100 homes around Switzerland and abroad with this philosophy.

Source: Pinterest/Recyclebank

His designs are hand crafted works of art, with unique curvature and sprayed concrete, some even say that his work is reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi.

Malator (Pembrokeshire, Wales)

The Malator was built for a former Parliament member by the name of Bob Marshall-Andrews, and was designed by firm Future Systems. To say it has distinctive architecture would be a gross understatement, its design is definitely eye-catching.

Source: Pinterest

The majority of the home is built underground because of legislation that didn’t allow for construction to be visible, or any disruptions of the wildlife that lived on the national park where the home was built. It’s almost seamlessly built into the land, with only one metal chimney sticking up from the earth. Due to its unique architecture the locals call this earth dwelling the Teletubby house.

Villa Vals (Vals, Switzerland)

Bjarne Mastenbroek and Christian Muller of SeARCH and CMA, wanted to design a home that’s architecture blended into the surrounding earth, making it almost completely undetectable to the naked eye.

Source: Bjarne Mastenbroek

In fact this home doesn’t have any direct access, you can only access it through an underground tunnel that is connected to a barn nearby.

Blue Reef Cottages (Outer Hebrides, UK)

These stunning handcrafted cottages were designed by Stuart Bagshaw, and even though they aren’t completely submerged underground they still integrate into the surrounding landscape effortlessly.

Source: Mo Thomson

Blue Reef Cottages boast gracefully winding curves that harmonize with the hills that surround them, making them another perfect example of a functional earth-dwelling.

Dune House (Atlantic Beach, Florida)

This modern style earthbound home was designed by architect William Morgan, and is most commonly known as the Dune House.

Source: Josh Hansbrough

Located in Florida inside a sand dune close to Atlantic Beach, the property itself is actually made up of 650-square foot units. This home doesn’t get more craftsman style, with its built-in sofas, sunken pits, and winding staircase, it truly is one of a kind.

Hobbiton (Matamata, New Zealand)

These dwellings are straight out of the movies, both figuratively and literally. The Hobbiton homes were built on the Alexander Farm in Matamata, New Zealand. Originally their sole purpose was to set the stage for the infamous movie The Hobbit, but after the public took a huge interest in the homes it was decided to leave them intact after the movie wrapped.

Source: Shutterstock/Svetlana Orusova

It is now fully open to the public and can be viewed via public or private tours.

So the question still remains, could you see yourself living in one of these earth-bound homes? They are beautifully handcrafted, designed and built with so much creativity and intent. I’m not sure that it gets more unique than this, and if originality and being eco-friendly is your vibe then maybe an earth dwelling is the perfect style of home for you. Or perhaps marveling over the structure and its history is more your speed, either way there is no denying the intrigue of these structures, that’s for sure.